Pennyfield and Lafayette Avenue bridges near completion

Recently opened to traffic, the Lafayette Avenue Bridge’s renovation is slated for full completion by the end of this year.
Photo courtesy of New York State Department of Transportation

An ambitious renovation project on three overpasses will be finished ahead of schedule.

According to Diane Park, New York State Department of Transportation Region 11 public information officer, the NYS DOT’s $12.5 million three-bridge rehabilitation project for the Castle Hill Avenue, Lafayette Avenue and Pennyfield Avenue bridges was specifically designed for work to progress on these individual bridges simultaneously.

In doing so, this enabled the contractor group, DeFoe Corp of Mount Vernon, NY to achieve economies of scale and resulted in more efficient and more cost effective construction than if each bridge were accomplished individually, she said.

By working on all three bridges simultaneously, NYS DOT was able to reduce construction time by approximately by one and a half years which translates to a 25% cost reduction for the project.

This project included major structural improvements on the Pennyfield Avenue Bridge overlooking the Throgs Neck Expressway, the Lafayette Avenue Bridge over the Throgs Neck Expressway and the Castle Hill Avenue Bridge over the Bruckner Expressway such as replacing the existing concrete decks of all three bridges, resurfacing the pavement at the approaches to the bridges up to and including the intersections at either end of the overpasses, installing new lighting above and below the decks.

In addition to these reconstructive efforts, a new traffic signal adjacent to Prentiss Avenue was installed at the north side intersection of Pennyfield and Prentiss avenues and the replacement of an existing traffic signal located at the south side of the Pennyfield Avenue Bridge.

“These projects are now open to traffic and we’re very delighted to have brought these improvements to the community on such an accelerated schedule and this demonstrates how efficient this process was,” said Park.

Originally slated for a spring 2016 completion date, DeFoe Corp was able to accelerate the project.

According to NYS DOT, the Castle Hill Avenue bridge was officially opened to traffic on Friday, October 16 and both the Lafayette and Pennyfield Avenue bridges opened to traffic on Friday, November 2 with finishing work expected for completion by the end of 2015.

Park explained this finishing work entails trenching at Castle Hill Avenue bridge which is needed for installing traffic signal conduits; milling and paving of intersections at all three overpasses to be performed over the next three weeks, weather permitting; substructure work such as removing temporary shielding, under-deck lighting following shield removal, substructure sealing, block pavers and brick rehabilitation and permanent striping.

“We commend the New York State Department of Transportation and its contractors for their quality work and for finishing these three renovations well before their originally scheduled completion,” said Ken Kearns, Community Board 10 district manager.

“We’re absolutely delighted these projects are coming to completion especially Pennyfield and Lafayette avenues which were a hassle to travel on because they only had a single lane in each direction,” said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto. “The work is being done very well and it’s an early holiday present for the community.”

The recently renovated Pennyfield Avenue Bridge is now completely opened to traffic.
Photo courtesy of New York State Department of Transportation

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